Friday, November 5th 2021

Intel Disables DirectX 12 API Loading on Haswell Processors

Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, codenamed Haswell, are subject to new security exploits. According to the company, a vulnerability exists inside the graphics controller of 4th generation Haswell processors, happening once the DirectX 12 API loading occurs. To fix the problem, Intel has found that disabling this API results in a fix. Starting with Intel graphics driver 15.40.44.5107 applications that run exclusively on DirectX 12 API no longer work with the following Intel Graphics Controllers: Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200/5100, HD Graphics 5000/4600/4400/4200, and Intel Pentium and Celeron Processors with Intel HD Graphics based on 4th Generation Intel Core.

"A potential security vulnerability in Intel Graphics may allow escalation of privilege on 4th Generation Intel Core processors. Intel has released a software update to mitigate this potential vulnerability. In order to mitigate the vulnerability, DirectX 12 capabilities were deprecated." says the Intel page. If a user with a Haswell processor has a specific need to run the DirectX 12 application, they can downgrade their graphics driver to version 15.40.42.5063 or older.
Source: Intel
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71 Comments on Intel Disables DirectX 12 API Loading on Haswell Processors

#1
elghinnarisa
"Intel has found that disabling this API results in a fix."
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#2
jmcslob
Does DX12 matter on older Intel integrated graphics? Or even modern?
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#3
Denver
jmcslobDoes DX12 matter on older Intel integrated graphics? Or even modern?
In some cases yes, as emulators tend to use and take advantage of modern APIs.
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#4
Cryio
Today I found out that both Haswell and apparently Ivy supported DX12. I thought the 1st Intel architecture with DX12 support was Broadwell, but I guess it was a staggered release back in 2015-2016?
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#5
tabascosauz
jmcslobDoes DX12 matter on older Intel integrated graphics? Or even modern?
Out of that list, Iris Pro 5200 is probably the only one with the GPU power to actually play AAA games with DX12. So anyone running relatively niche 4750HQ, 4770R processors etc.

Not a good look from a security standpoint but I'm not sure how much it really matters on 7-year-old SKUs, most of which should be really relegated to 2D office/home usage nowadays.

As for emulators, didn't Dolphin eventually drop DX12 support despite showing some sizeable performance boost from it? So completely dead alongside vulkan there?
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#6
chrcoluk
Wow intel's approach to fixing security issues continues, just disable stuff. :/
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#8
RedBear
tabascosauzAs for emulators, didn't Dolphin eventually drop DX12 support despite showing some sizeable performance boost from it? So completely dead alongside vulkan there?
I think it was reintroduced at some point, back in 2019 apparently, DX12 support is available right now on Dolphin.
DenverIn some cases yes, as emulators tend to use and take advantage of modern APIs.
If you mean console emulators, several tend to run better on OpenGL, which is problematic for AMD GPUs on Windows. Some emulators actually run exclusively on OpenGL, Ryujinx for instance has only experimental Vulkan support.
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#9
Vya Domus
Disabling a feature is not a "fix".
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#10
Bubster
elghinnarisa"Intel has found that disabling this API results in a fix."
Dr Evil: 12900k will cost: 100 Million Dollarsssssssssss. ha ha ha ha.
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#11
DeathtoGnomes
RedBearI think it was reintroduced at some point, back in 2019 apparently, DX12 support is available right now on Dolphin.
Intel has dolphins?
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#12
elghinnarisa
BubsterDr Evil: 12900k will cost: 100 Million Dollarsssssssssss. ha ha ha ha.
Number two: Don't you think we should ask for more than 100 million dollars? 100 million dollars isn't exactly a lot of money these days, intel alone makes 20 billion dollars a year!

Eh, close enough.

Still I find the whole "disable and call it a fix" dumb. Maybe I should become a car mechanic, i'll just tell everyone to turn the car off and its fixed, then charge them a few grand because its hard work to fix cars.
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#13
TheDeeGee
Good timing, i sold my 4770K 4-5 months ago :D
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#14
80-watt Hamster
elghinnarisaNumber two: Don't you think we should ask for more than 100 million dollars? 100 million dollars isn't exactly a lot of money these days, intel alone makes 20 billion dollars a year!

Eh, close enough.

Still I find the whole "disable and call it a fix" dumb. Maybe I should become a car mechanic, i'll just tell everyone to turn the car off and its fixed, then charge them a few grand because its hard work to fix cars.
The car analogy's pretty good, actually, but I'm opposite your conclusion. It's less turning the car off, and more along the lines of:

"Oh man, the heated mirrrors on this 15-year-old model have a non-zero chance of catching fire. Ideas?"

"Send out new mirrors that don't catch fire?

"Nah, just push out a TSB to cut power to the mirrors."

Bummer that your mirrors don't self-defrost anymore, but at least you've got a 99.5% functional car that won't burst into flames. And if you REALLY need that function? Use the old drivers. Er, don't bring the car in for the TSB service and accept the risks. *shrug*
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#15
Lew Zealand
It will be interesting to see how this plays out as we're full up on Haswell integrated graphics when traveling (Iris Pro 5200, HD 4600 and HD 4400). However I don't think we're into 15fps self-immolation as we avoid DX12 games for older things like DX11 and usually DX9.
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#16
Dirty Butler
80-watt HamsterThe car analogy's pretty good, actually, but I'm opposite your conclusion. It's less turning the car off, and more along the lines of:

"Oh man, the heated mirrrors on this 15-year-old model have a non-zero chance of catching fire. Ideas?"

"Send out new mirrors that don't catch fire?

"Nah, just push out a TSB to cut power to the mirrors."

Bummer that your mirrors don't self-defrost anymore, but at least you've got a 99.5% functional car that won't burst into flames. And if you REALLY need that function? Use the old drivers. Er, don't bring the car in for the TSB service and accept the risks. *shrug*
My dad has been a Ford mechanic for over 50 years, this made me laugh. So true haha.
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#17
Tigger
I'm the only one
Balls no more playing AAA games on my 4770k.........................oh wait.
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#18
AsRock
TPU addict
jmcslobDoes DX12 matter on older Intel integrated graphics? Or even modern?
I would think not for most cases, how ever it's not what you payed for.
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#19
R-T-B
DeathtoGnomesIntel has dolphins?
Dolphin is an emulator
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#21
LabRat 891
Don't get me wrong, I'm not sure this is consequential for many. However, removing a 'marketed feature' rather than 'fixing' it, just because it is an old (but not EOL, mind you) product may invite legal action. They're probably counting on the fact there are near 0 'damages' from retroactively removing these products' DX12 capability.
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#23
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
This is an awful "fix". So, one can't use a basic function of something they've paid for? Really? I can't believe that there isn't a mitigation / workaround.

In my opinion, Intel have done this, because Haswell is pretty old and the number of people using this generation keep reducing as systems die or are upgraded to something newer, so they're highly unlikely to be targeted by a lawsuit. Just imagine if HT had been disabled when Spectre and Meltdown happened, to mitigate the risk. That would have resulted in lawsuits for sure. Instead, they found a way to keep HT on, but with reduced performance.
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#24
lexluthermiester
jmcslobDoes DX12 matter on older Intel integrated graphics? Or even modern?
Simple answer, no. This is not a big deal. Games that would run on DX12 would not run at playable framerates on the Haswell IGP series.
DenverIn some cases yes, as emulators tend to use and take advantage of modern APIs.
As an Emulation enthusiast, I can tell you that no emulators need DX12. There are a few that can use it, but such is just fluff.
Vya DomusDisabling a feature is not a "fix".
Yes, it is. How else would you suggest they deal with the problem? Do you really expect Intel to reegineer a CPU series that is many generations old? No, and no one should expect them too. As stated above, the Haswell IGP is incapable of running DX12 titles at playable quality so disabling the API is an entirely valid and acceptable solution to the security problems at play.
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#25
ExcuseMeWtf
Let's hope there are no such vulnerabilities in ADL, that would mean some disabling too, and would eat away at performance gains of 12 series...
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